During the last twenty years there has been a quite astonishing demand among English speaking people for the classics of the spiritual life. It would be rash to draw from that fact any general conclusions as to the state of religion at the present day, for a not too serious curiosity on the part of the reading public concerning all that appears mysterious or occult may easily account for the sales of many ‘mystic’ works. But if this is so, it is a pity. It is true that the spiritual masters can open for us ‘deep caverns of the sense which were dark and blind,’ but they make no offer of a sight-seeing trip at the price in cash of a paper-backed translation. The road where they would lead us is one of self-discipline and self-abnegation, and there is no easy way round. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” —E.W. Trueman Dicken ‘The Crucible of Love: A Study of the Mysticism of St Teresa of Jesus and St John of the Cross’ copyright 1963.
Crucible: noun 1. a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures. 2.
Metallurgy. a hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects. 3. a severe, searching test or trial.